Iowa governor candidates meet for first debate

Terry Branstad

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and Democratic challenger Jack Hatch sparred over who could best boost job creation, enhance education and improve quality of life during their first televised debate.

Branstad and Hatch met Thursday at the Iowa State Fair. It was the first of three debates in the race.

Branstad is running for an unprecedented sixth nonconsecutive term. He touted his record of tax cuts and job creation, and offered a new proposal, an expanded plan to improve broadband internet access in rural Iowa.

Hatch, a longtime state lawmaker, said he could do more to enhance incomes and improve education. He pledged to raise the minimum wage, cut taxes for middle class residents and raise the gas tax to pay for road repairs.

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